Ok, you can place this squarely in the “You have got to be effing kidding me” files.
Ohio State today released information regarding 46 secondary NCAA violations across all of their athletic programs. Doug Lesmerises has the full scoop.
After a year and a half of “Oh NOES!!!!”, I actually appreciate this news for two reasons. First, it shows that the University continues to self monitor and self report even the most minor issues (see next point). This isn’t a program gone “rogue”, but one that’s trying to navigate as best as possible within the labyrinthine regulations of the No Clue At All.
Which brings me to the second point- These violations continue to prove how out of touch and often petty the NCAA can be. While certain entities are arguing for billion dollar playoffs coordinated by corrupt bowl “non-profits” with questionable benefits to the actual participants, the following are found to be against the rules (again, from Doug’s article):
- Football coach Urban Meyer said “Good luck,” to recruit Noah Spence before his state championship game in Pennsylvania in December. Contact like that with Spence, on his game day, is forbidden.
- Athletic director Gene Smith and alumni association CEO Archie Griffin recorded a personalized video for football recruit Ezekiel Elliott for his official campus visit on March 31. Recruiting videos are forbidden.
- Assistant football coach Mike Vrabel used smokeless tobacco on the sidelines during games, which was reported to Ohio State anonymously by an area health teacher. NCAA rules forbid tobacco use during games or practices.
- Greg Paulus, the basketball team’s video coordinator, was reported to be coaching players during the Buckeyes’ Big Ten Tournament semifinal win over Michigan on March 10. Video coordinators, who aren’t full assistants, may not coach players. The violation was discovered after a general conversation between an OSU player’s parent and an assistant athletic director.
- Last August, quality control football staffer Kirk Barton, a former OSU offensive lineman, created and ordered 20 “JT” bracelets for $5 each online to honor former coach Jim Tressel. He intended them for friends and family, but several players asked Barton about the bracelets. He sold seven players the bracelets for $15, charging that amount in an attempt to make sure no violation was committed, knowing that giving them out for free would be an NCAA violation. But selling them still was deemed a violation because players had access to something not available to the general public. The players returned the bracelets.
- Assistant coach Stan Drayton last July accidentally sent a text message to a recruit when he meant to send an email. Emails were permissible. Text messages were not.
- On Aug. 20, assistant coach Dick Tressel responded to a text message from the parents of recruit Warren Ball asking which gate to use to enter Ohio Stadium for a scrimmage. Texting the parents of a recruit was a violation.
- In December of 2010, five current football players took five recruits on OSU visits to a movie. NCAA rules allow each recruit $60 in spending money for entertainment. A cab ride to the movie put each recruit between $1 and $5 over budget, which the football players paid out of pocket. That was not allowed because the $60 limit was exceeded.
- The school realized that during three days of the football team’s Rose Bowl trip from Dec. 26, 2009, to Jan. 2, 2010, the players received both a $15 per diem and breakfast. That pushed them over the allowable three meals of $45 per diem.
While the Gene Smith one makes me particularly perplexed (in part because I can’t figure out what his job is, exactly), and I understand the importance of a program under the microscope to be above reproach… I still have to look at this and shake my head. This is what passes for compliance with an organization that has from the beginning often worked in opposition to the educational mission of member institutions and lack of regard for their key stakeholders.
And so, for the second time in a week I find myself referring to Scripture, this time from the twenty third chapter of the book of Matthew-
You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
Woe to you, teachers of the law… you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence… First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
Bumped back a day to cover today’s press access- one more day means even more news, notes, and inanity.
There was no NCAA violation. If you could bold and underline that for me, please.
Done and done, coach.
Time for the hump day look around the world of college sports, with a soundtrack from a reunited legend. We look at playoffs, SEC controversy, NCAA hypocrisy, and other items this week.
Initially, this week was supposed to be “POPS”- Pink Out Penn State for Breast Cancer Awareness. While we’ve not heard anything more about that since things changed in Happy Valley, we’re more than glad to give our support. You know… given the circumstances.
If it’s Friday, it means that it’s time for more bad news.
Devier Posey has been suspended an additional five games by the NCAA for receiving $720 in payment for hours not worked, in addition to “free golf”. Essentially, this means that his senior season will consist of the games against Penn State and Michigan… I’ll bet he’s incredibly glad he chose to abide by his promise to Jim Tressel and return after the Sugar Bowl. Read More
If there was ever a need for a demonstration of Murphy’s Law, Ohio State’s offense against Michigan State might be an apt tool to use. Everything that could go wrong for the Buckeyes did last Saturday when the scarlet and gray had possession of the football.
Nothing went right, and any glimmer of hope that occurred, like the 33 yard pass completion to Chris Fields, was instantly snuffed out before the offense could make anything of it.
With all the on the field issues, the last thing the Buckeye faithful needed were more NCAA issues that crept up at the beginning of this week. With so much unknown, it is time to dive into a little Scarlet and Gray Q&A.
What’s wrong with the offense?
How long have you got? I could write a book this week about what is plaguing the Ohio State offense, but instead I have compiled a list of concerns and ways to fix them.
The first is clearly the Ohio State quarterback spot. Braxton Miller did not look good, and while he didn’t have a whole lot of help, he still did not play well. It is funny how fast fans have turned on the true freshman quarterback. To go from savior to goat in the less than a week had to have left Miller’s head spinning. Read More
Here’s the long and short of it, as far as we know:
During the investigation into former Ohio State Booster Bobby DiGeronimo’s connection with the charity event that saw several Buckeyes suspended earlier this season, the University discovered that there were student athletes who were working for his company, and that this employment hadn’t been cleared through compliance. Here is a link to the University’s self report to the NCAA: NCAA Docs
In reviewing the paperwork, it became apparent that there were instances of hours paid that differed from the hours actually worked. Dan Herron, DeVier Posey, Marcus Hall, Etienne Sabino, and Melvin Fellows were the student athletes in question. The University argued that they were unaware of the additional hours (they did work, and were paid extra), but the numbers, particularly for Posey, don’t support that.
Herron, Posey, and Hall have been suspended for the Nebraska game, with expectations that Posey may be suspended for longer (based on the amount of money involved and the NCAA’s guidelines). These students are currently involved in the reinstatement process with the NCAA, so the actual number of games is still in flux. Fellows has taken a medical hardship, and Sabino has been cleared of these allegations.
DiGeronimo has been dissociated from the University after being a booster for 30 years. You can read the University’s letter here: NCAA Docs
The press release-
Ohio State Update on NCAA Investigation
The Ohio State University Director of Athletics Gene Smith announced today that, as part of the university’s continued investigation with the NCAA to resolve any remaining football compliance issues, violations have been discovered and three football student-athletes have been declared ineligible for the football game this weekend against the University of Nebraska. Those players are Marcus Hall, DeVier Posey and Daniel Herron. The university has submitted a request for reinstatement on behalf of each student-athlete, but it is anticipated that each will sit out at least the game this weekend.
“As we have previously disclosed, the university and the NCAA were not able to finish investigating all of the areas before the university’s August hearing with the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions,” Smith said. “Upon receiving the necessary records from outside parties and conducting a few additional interviews, the university and the NCAA enforcement staff have jointly determined that violations did occur. The violations that have affected the eligibility of these three players relate to their overpayment while being employed with companies associated with Robert DiGeronimo, an individual who was recently disassociated by the university as a result of several student athletes receiving extra benefits surrounding a charity event in February. The university and the NCAA enforcement staff are in the final stages of the resolution of this case, and I anticipate having further information in that regard in the near future.
In addition, Posey was cited for a secondary violation for a round of golf with Dennis Talbott- greens fees around $100.
Smith stated that this would be considered part of the ongoing investigation, and would push back the NCAA’s final ruling and sanctions. He also said that he was confident that this was not a Failure To Monitor or Lack Of Institutional Control situation that the NCAA has reviewed Ohio State’s processes numerous times, and that these issues are indicative of individual decisions and not systemic issues.
What is most troubling, at least for me, is that some of this “work” occurred during March of 2011… while the NCAA investigation was ongoing, and about the time that Tressel’s knowledge of the memorabilia exchange was brought to light.
We’ll update this as it develops.